Finsbury Food sets sights on acquisitions as earnings jump

 
Kasmira Jefford
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FINSBURY Food Group said it was on the hunt for acquisitions again as the cake and bread manufacturer posted a 32.8 per cent rise in half-profits to £3m.

Finance director Stephen Boyd said the company’s recent sale of its Free From business for £21m to Genius Foods has helped pay down debt and transform the balance sheet, paving the way for further acquisitions.

Like its larger market rival Premier Foods, which owns Mr Kipling cakes, Finsbury burdened itself with too much debt after a period of rapid expansion in the last decade.

But Boyd said its debt, which stood at £27.4m at 31 December, had been cut since to around £7m thanks to the Free From sale and “was no longer seen as an issue” as it once was.

The company, which makes Vogel bread and cakes for Weightwatchers, Thorntons and Disney, said group revenue rose one per cent to £103.3m in the six months to the end of December.

Sales at its UK cake division increased by two per cent to £67.8m while bread sales were up seven per cent to £27.4m.

The group has also reinstated an interim dividend of 0.25p per share for the first time since 2008.